* * *
In the village in the dying twilight, hundreds of villagers had gathered with flaming torches and weapons. The village leader stood on a raised platform. ‘Friends, tonight is the night to avenge the death of our near and dear ones and to throw the foreigners out of our land. If we don’t do it soon, we will loose our identity, our religion, our everything to these foreigners. Kishen, I know that Rosalin is your cousin. But at this hour, we shouldn’t forget that she is also a cause of our problems. ’
Kishen looked sullenly at the villager leader. ‘I know no relationship in this fight for freedom!’ His brother Pedro cringed at his words as he stared solemnly from amidst the crowd.
The village leader continued. ‘Rosalin was our daughter but she went against us. She thought that by doing one or two good deeds, she can fool us but no. We are not fools! We want our freedom!!!’
The crowd chanted in unison. ‘Yes yes… Freedom!!! ’
Suddenly another voice boomed loudly. ‘I believe in you all. Everyone has right to it.’ The crowd looked around to find Marcos standing there. Suddenly pin drop silence befell. Marcos slowly walked in their midst. ‘I know I am a part of the enemy. But if you ask Kishen, he will agree that I am on your side.’
Kishen looked at the village leader. ‘Yes, he is with us.’
Marcos continued. ‘Without me, you will fail to get your hands on Rosalin. But I know I can help. I can convince the Viceroy to hand over Rosalin. You can do anything with her thereafter. And once the scandal reaches Portugal, the present royal family will have to leave this place and then I will request to be appointed the Viceroy.’
‘What do we have to gain by this?’ The leader questioned him.
‘Well, you will get ample opportunity to be a part of my governance. You will also get your land back which Fr. Kane so rightly grabbed from you.’
One of the villagers spoke up. ‘But he has already promised that he would give us our land back. ’
Marcos gave a short chuckle. ‘Aha. How naïve you can be. He was just buying time to sell the land to me and disappear back to where he came from with his beloved Rosalin.’
‘That’s sheer blasphemy!’
‘Yes I know. And tonight I’ll tell the Viceroy about it. I just want you to promise me that you won’t harm my sister, my wife and my son. In return, I’ll give you power in this province.’
Kishen looked at the villagers. They nodded their head in acceptance.
Kishen gave a loud bellow. ‘Down with Rosalin… Down with Fr. Kane!’
The crowd echoed his words.
Marcos smiled sinisterly.